As a Libertarian I believe that all persons are entitled to the fruits of their labor. As such, we view taxation as the forced taking of property. At most we regard it as a necessary evil, so that the vital functions of government can continue independent of undue outside influence. For this reason we advocate the reduction of taxation to the lowest feasible level, and the replacement of taxation with user fees where practicable.Though many forms of taxation are authorized in the constitution, we feel that the following warrant specific consideration:
1a. Government Spending
I believe that smaller government is better. I seek to reduce the size and scope of government, and sunset or abolish unnecessary or unconstitutional programs and agencies. I support balancing the budgets of all levels of government by reducing government spending. I support a moratorium on state bond issuance and all other forms of government borrowing.
1b. Income Tax
I oppose any effort of the Texas Legislature to impose income taxes, for any purpose. Furthermore, we advocate the repeal of the federal income tax.
1c. Gross Margins Tax
I oppose the Gross Margins Tax adopted by the Texas Legislature in 2006. I support the efforts by the legislature to tighten the state's constitutional spending limits. We also support a constitutional amendment that would require a two-thirds majority vote by each house of the legislature to increase the rate of any tax.
1d. Ad Valorem Tax
I support the elimination of the property tax which cannot be assessed in any objective manner and which operates to take property from the poor. However, until a time when an alternative means of financing can be achieved, we support efforts to restrict appraisal valuations. I support legislative efforts which would lower the cap on annual increases in homestead appraisals from 10 percent to 3 percent. Furthermore, I support legislation which would impose a 10 percent cap on annual appraisal increases in vacation homes and other non-homestead, residential properties.
1e. Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones
In the interest of protecting the tax payers, Libertarians seek to limit the establishment of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ) districts to previously developed municipal areas and prohibit their establishment on undeveloped "raw" land. The ability for a local government to create Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones (TIRZ) was established by the legislature as a means to combat blight in our inner cities. However, this tax
structure has been abused by many local governments and utilized as a means to enrich political benefactors and campaign contributors.
1f. Occupational Licensing
Libertarians believe that the exercise of an occupation or profession is a natural right not subject to regulation or taxation, except insofar as it makes use of public resources. Therefore, Libertarians support the repeal of all statutes licensing occupations or professional practices, and reversion to private certification organizations.
While 'licensing' is promoted as a tool for acting against unscrupulous or incompetent providers of services, in practice it mainly serves to restrict competition and suppress new entrants into a field. Government can properly prosecute for fraud for past abuses, but should not become a gatekeeper that converts a right into a privilege. We see Occupation Licensing as undue and unwarranted restrictions on individuals' rights to work and earn a living in any manner they choose.
1g. Bond Initiatives
Ideally, Libertarians favor a moratorium on any new debt obligations. Moreover, as a measure to protect the taxpayers we support legislation requiring bond issues only be voted at state general elections.
1h. Certificates of Obligation
The Texas Legislature bypassed voter approval for political subdivisions to borrow money by enacting the Certificate of Obligation Act of 1971(Section 274.041 Local Government Code) as local governments viewed bond referendum requirements as "too burdensome." Since that time, many local governmental entities have driven their communities deep into debt with no approval from the voters. Unlike bonds, a Certificate of Obligation simply requires a 30 day public notice of a corresponding ordinance to enact. Should the public oppose the measure, they have 30 days to petition, requiring 10% of all registered voters as a minimum, to prevent the ordinance from being enacted. As such an unfair process is a clear danger to taxpayers and residents of the state, Libertarians support the repeal of the Certificate of Obligation Act of 1971.